~A coded tribute for the Pilgrim Survivors,
Hotel Quirinale 2016~
Jesus wore a garment of blue wool
against the sharp Roman air.
I am a broken man
said he to the one in the red hat,
I am a broken man.
The Magdalen stood by his side,
her long hair fostered carefully
to wipe any and all tears.
Jesus wore a blue garment
from the wool of his two lost lambs.
Jesus wore a pair of heavy rimmed spectacles
on his earnest nose.
He has no need to see more clearly.
His name has criminal connections
that have made him the captive one.
To be rid of his Goliaths
he works daily at being free.
Jesus wore a simple tee shirt,
that haunts his adult face-
a little boy, an iron-on photo,
permeating the fabric’s fibre
like an irreversible tattoo that stains
what was once blank skin.
At once proud and lamenting, he,
of the little boy still growing into his teeth,
a shy smile before it petered out
to a past excoriatingly present.
And the questions ring out across the piazza:
Can a man who has no interest in evil
have any grasp of the good?
Can a shallow swamp
know the unfathomable waters of sorrow?
Can a building brought to rubble rebuild
safe shelters for its people?
And the long pent thunderclouds burst over Rome’s ruins
And the rain it pell/ted down
onto the obdurate cobbles.
Let it seep the rain,
let it sink,
let it sweep to a cleansing flood.
Then in the righteous silence
let the little shoots of green spring and hold,
finding, between the lost stones,
the good earth.